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The future is always uncertain. So the pilots of the future need an aircraft that can be easily upgraded to meet ever-changing requirements.

“Computers, processors and electronics are continuously developing and it’s important that you can upgrade these as new tech emerges on the market,” says Saab’s Wing Commander Flying and Gripen test pilot Hans Einerth.

Right from the beginning, Gripen E was developed with future progress in mind. By managing to isolate systems affecting the core flight abilities, the plane’s split avionics system allows for the integration of off-the-shelf products.

“The future pilot will need the ability to continuously upgrade the hardware and software and not get stuck in old functionality; this is of increasing importance,” explains Einerth.

Read the full story here​.

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Seen by many as a series of giant leaps in innovation the story of flight is, in fact, one of fantastic evolution. More than anyone the Gripen team at Saab know this. It is evolutionary thinking that has kept the Gripen system more than one step ahead.

Most military aircraft are built with the present and future in mind. Fighters are ordinarily commissioned decades in advance of completion. These needs are usually defined by military planners. The planners draw on as much intelligence and strategic thinking as possible to make the right decisions for what are massive multi-billion dollar projects. During the cold war many nations considered the military of the highest economic priority. Matters of defence were given huge budgets. When it came to air forces there were some with seemingly bottomless pockets.

Swedish prudence and the birth of Gripen

Sweden was one country that did not believe in blank cheques when it came to its military. The Swedish Air Force was to be no exception. 

In 1980 a requirement was issued to Swedish manufacturers for a new multi-role aircraft. The bar was set high. Excellent performance, agility and speed were all necessary to combat the threats at that time. However, the high-level Swedish strategists did not only put in a request for a new fighter. They pushed for a new way of thinking. They had decided it would be costly and difficult to adapt many of the aircraft on the market. They realised that the fundamental ...

​Last weekend, the Swedish Air Force had sent three Gripen fighters to participate in Finland's major aviation event, Tour de Sky – Kuopio International Airshow. Here are some images from the event.

turdesky2016_1.jpgPilot Stefan Charles, who began his career in 2001, has completed over 2100 flight hours on Gripen. He performed an aerial display on Sunday for the visitors.
tourdesky2016_3.jpgOne of the Gripen fighters was on a static display.
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An MS 20 upgraded Gripen was also exhibited at the Saab pavillion.

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During a press seminar recently, Saab outlined the Gripen NG concept for India. Last month, Saab unveiled in Linkoping Gripen E, its first test aircraft of the next generation Gripen, and has comprehensive plans to further design, develop, manufacture and maintain the aircraft in India through transfer of technology. Gripen E is the variant of Gripen NG that has been selected by Sweden.

Gripen NG is the most advanced multi-role fighter in the world. Gripen is, by design, a true multi-role fighter aircraft, capable of performing an extensive range of air-to-air, air-to-surface and reconnaissance missions under all conditions in any environment.

Using the latest technology, sensors and weapon systems, it is designed to meet the demands of existing and future threats, while simultaneously balancing strict requirements for mission success, reliability, training efficiency and low operating costs.

Saab has also set out a comprehensive plan within India’s Make in India initiative, which will include transfer of state-of-the-art technology; setting up of an aerospace eco-system in India, including a manufacturing facility; creation of a local supplier base; employment of a well-trained Indian workforce in engineering and manufacturing.

“Our concept of technology transfer is real as we are willing to give India comprehensive system and software control. In short, Saab is not only looking at setting up a base here, but also helping in the development of aerospace capability for many years to come,” says Jan Widerström, Chairman, Saab India Technologies Pvt Ltd.

Read the full storyhere.

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Indian Air Force Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha got a feel of Gripen D last week when he flew the fighter with Swedish Wing Commander Michael Lundquist. 

Raha was on a five day tour of Sweden to discuss potential cooperation in aerospace and defence between India and Sweden. These bilateral conversations were initiated earlier this year between Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Make in India summit in February.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: Captain John Lidman, Såtenäs, F7

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The new Gripen E will make its maiden flight later this year. Though thanks to simulators, it has already been flying a lot in the virtual world. 

To ensure that the simulators replicate actual onboard systems, the same software and tools used for developing the aircraft are deployed. The process called “design once” makes certain that the simulated aircraft systems are performing in the same fashion as those on the aircraft.

Saab test pilot Jonas Jakobsson says that they are focussing on the system design at the moment. "We have started to practice a lot of tactical scenarios, and are looking at different systems and human-machine interfaces," he says.

According to Saab, testing in simulators reduces the number of actual test flights by about two thirds. Because of the model-based design and advanced simulators, pilots can perform a series of tests in the computer environment before the actual flights.

Read the full story here.

​Besides the training and hands-on, the Brazilian engineers are also learning to speak Swedish. Take a look at their experiences in Sweden as they understand Saab's system and processes.​

The technology transfer between Saab and our partner companies is an important and impressive project within the Brazilian acquisition of 36 Gripen fighters. The web series True Collaborations shows how it works in reality. ​

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"With Gripen, you need to forget everything you know about flying," Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt told visiting Brazilian journalist Fernando De Martini from Poder Aereo Blog team when he visited the Gripen hangar.

Fernando had heard this before. Five years back, when he was preparing for a Gripen flight using a simulator, he was told the same thing. "With its fly-by-wire control systems, I realised how easy it was to fly Gripen,” Fernando says in his blog.

The advantage of the fly-by-wire system is that one can use only paddles instead of joystick for curves. “This frees your hand to handle the various screens in the cockpit while the aircraft continues to be operated with your feet,” says Marcus Wandt.

Wandt also spoke of the ease with which one can land a Gripen. The final phase of landing is almost automatic, he says, with the pilot only required to control the angle of descent and speed and keep an eye on the HUD.

The Brazilian Press got to see the 39-7 demonstrator and the latest Gripen test aircraft and were briefed by Saab test pilots Marcus Wandt and Hans Einerth

Read the full story here.

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Born in harsh Artic conditions but with the ability to operate in tropical climates, Gripen is ready for any mission, anywhere.

Photo: Jörgen Nilsson​

You can download the calendar here.

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With the unveiling of Gripen E, Saab is looking at its fighter export targets with a fresh enthusiasm. "I think we have a very good opportunity in India. We can make an attractive offer that would suit the Make in India concept," Saab aeronautics head Ulf Nilsson said in an interview recently.

If chosen, Saab is ready to develop, manufacture and undertake the final assembly of its Gripen fighter jet in India. It has already offered to set up a base in the country and co-operate in the development of aerospace capability for the next 100 years.

Though Saab's formal offer to India was along the lines of its Gripen deal with Brazil, the exact Gripen configuration has not yet been announced. "Gripen E is a specific configuration of Gripen NG that has been chosen by the Swedish customer. The exact configuration for another customer such as India will depend on discussions with that customer. But yes, we are offering the next generation Gripen to India, under 'Make In India' with transfer of technology," Jan Widerstrom, Country Head and Chairman, Saab India, said.

Besides Gripen, Saab has participated in other defence programmes as well. It has successfully completed trials of two of its programmes in India -VSHORAD (very short-range air defence) and SRSAM (short range surface-to-air missile).

Read the full story here.

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Welcome to the official Gripen blog by Saab. This site features information and commentary about the Gripen fighter jet.
 
The Gripen Blog shares stories and discussions on the Gripen aircraft. The Blog does not vouch for the authenticity of the reports from other publications that have been quoted.
 
The reference to articles and news reports does not imply endorsement or validation of the views of the authors of the stories.